Our office remains open and serving clients during COVID-19. We also remain available 24/7 to answer questions about any potential personal injury claim toll free at 866-966-5240.

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Los-Angeles-Traffic-Accidents-AttorneysSpeeding places everyone on the road at risk here in Los Angeles. According to data from the National Safety Council, speeding was responsible for 26% of all traffic fatalities that happened in 2019. The NSC also reported that speeding as a contributing factor for fatal accidents decreased with age, and the highest number of speeding-related fatal accidents occurred with young male drivers between the ages of 16 and 24. A recent case that happened in Los Angeles demonstrates the dangers of speeding and the impact this negligent driving behavior can have on others.

Teen Adjudicated for Fatal Accident

A driver who was 17 at the time the crash occurred recently was sentenced to spend between seven and nine months in a juvenile facility after he caused a fatal accident while speeding. On Feb. 17, 2021, the teenager was driving his father’s Lamborghini with his girlfriend at the time. He started racing and was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour when he crashed into a vehicle that was being driven by a 32-year-old woman near the intersection of Overland Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. The collision caused the woman’s car to nearly be split in half, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Fatal-Car-Accident-Lawyers-Los-AngelesWhile gun-related deaths are a serious problem in California and the rest of the U.S., traffic accidents cause just as many deaths as guns each year. When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, it is among the most dangerous things you might do on any given day. Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people in the U.S. each year and cause millions of others to suffer serious injuries.

Even though people have clocked fewer miles during the pandemic, traffic fatalities have increased in the last 18 months. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 42,060 people were killed during 2020, which was a 24% increase from traffic fatalities in 2019. By comparison, USA Today reports that 41,000 Americans were killed in gun-related incidents in 2020, meaning that more people were killed in traffic accidents than in gun incidents.

Even though fewer people were on the roads in 2020 because of the pandemic, traffic deaths still surged. This surge in traffic fatalities has continued during 2021 even though more people are back on the roads. Policy changes should be implemented to reduce traffic deaths.

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Rehab-Facility-Injury-Attorneys-300x199In California, close family members of people who die are entitled to pursue compensation through wrongful death claims when their loved ones’ deaths are caused by the negligent actions of others. In Green v. Healthcare Services, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. G057950, the appeals court considered whether a patient’s suicide at a treatment facility qualified as a superseding cause and should have prevented a finding of negligence against the defendant.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Jeffrey Green was a 33-year-old man who had struggled with opioid addiction since he was 16. He started by using Oxycontin and began taking high doses of methadone beginning at age 27. Greene called Lighthouse, residential, voluntary treatment and mental health facility for an intake interview. During the interview, he told the intake person that he wanted to live but not the way that he was. He also stated that he needed to get off of methadone. He also informed the intake person that his father had committed suicide a few years before but denied any suicidal ideations himself. Green signed a “no harm” contract upon his entry to the facility in which he agreed that he would not harm himself.

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In California, many people use paraquat-containing herbicides to prevent weeds from encroaching on their lawns and fields. Paraquat-containing herbicides are commonly used by farmers and agricultural workers, and many people are unaware of the potential dangers these substances pose. Paraquat is a chemical found in many industrial herbicides, including Gramoxone, Parazone, Para-Shot, Helmquat, and others. People who directly use paraquat-containing herbicides with licenses and those who are indirectly exposed to this chemical over a long period of time have a heightened risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. People who have developed Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat-containing herbicides might be entitled to pursue compensation. An experienced product liability attorney at the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC, can review your case and explain whether it has legal merits.

Link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease

Paraquat is a common chemical found in many industrial herbicides that farmers and agricultural workers use on fields to control weed growth. It is used across the U.S. and the world. Researchers have found a link between paraquat exposure and the development of Parkinson’s disease. In a 2019 systematic review, researchers found that Parkinson’s disease occurrence was 25% higher in people who had been exposed to paraquat versus those who had not.

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In California, a person or entity that hires an independent contractor to do work on his or her property will generally not be liable for any injuries that happen to the contractor or the contractor’s employees while they are working on the job. However, a property owner may be liable when he or she retains control over the safety precautions taken on the property or when he or she affirmatively contributes to the creation of the dangerous condition. In Gonzalez v. Mathis, Cal. S. Ct. Case No. S247677, the California Supreme Court considered whether a third exception exists when an independent contractor or the contractor’s employee is injured by an obvious hazard within the work area for which the contractor could not take any reasonable safety measures to avoid it.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Luis Gonzalez was employed as a window washer during the 1990s for a company called Beverly Hills Window Washing. During that time, he regularly cleaned a skylight window for John R. Mathis. Later, Gonzalez started his own window washing business, advertising that his company specialized in cleaning windows and skylights in hard-to-reach areas. Mathis hired Gonzalez and his company to clean his skylight regularly beginning in 2007.

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In California, pedestrians are supposed to walk on the sidewalks and only cross streets at intersections or marked crosswalks. Pedestrians who are struck by cars while walking on the sidewalk or while crossing at crosswalks or intersections might be entitled to pursue compensation against the negligent drivers who crashed into them. However, what might happen when obstructions on a sidewalk make it impossible for a pedestrian to walk there and force him or her to walk in the street? Recently, a Los Angeles pedestrian filed a lawsuit against the city after she was struck by a car while walking in the street because a homeless encampment blocked the sidewalks.[1]

Woman sues LA following pedestrian accident

On Oct. 4, 2020, Debra Todd, a 64-year-old woman from Valley Village, walked to the 101 Freeway overpass near Gower Street to hand out sandwiches and water to people living in a homeless encampment located there. The sidewalk was obstructed by tents, furniture, and other belongings. Todd said she had no choice but to walk in the street because of the obstructions on the sidewalks. The median in that area was also filled with tents as another part of the encampment. When Todd attempted to cross Gower Street, she and a homeless man were struck by a Nissan being driven by a woman. The woman stayed at the scene and reported she had been driving at about 20 miles per hour. The car did not have any visible damage to its front end.

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Personal-Injury-Super-Lawyer-Los-AngelesThe principal attorney and founder of the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers APC, Steven M. Sweat has dedicated himself to pursuing justice for his clients throughout Los Angeles and California for the past 25 years. Mr. Sweat focuses his practice in the area of plaintiffs’ personal injury law and strongly believes that people who have sustained injuries because of the negligent or wrongful actions of others deserve to be fully compensated.

Mr. Sweat was recently named as a Super Lawyer for the 10th year in a row. Before an attorney can be named as a Super Lawyer, he or she must undergo a rigorous selection process. Attorneys cannot nominate themselves. Instead, Super Lawyers receive nominations from peers. Super Lawyers also conducts in-depth research on attorneys and relies on third-party feedback and managing attorney surveys. Before selection, nominees are evaluated on 12 different indicators, including experience, settlements and verdicts, representative cases, community service and pro bono work, and several others. Attorneys who earn the highest number of points are then compared to other attorneys in the same practice area before a final selection is made. Only 5% of all attorneys are named Super Lawyers. The fact that Mr. Sweat has been named as a Super Lawyer for 10 years in a row is a testament to his legal skills and dedication to his clients.

Before attending law school, Mr. Sweat first completed his undergraduate education at Florida State University, from where he graduated with his Bachelor of Science in 1992. He then moved to California and commenced his legal education at the California Western School of Law, from where he graduated with his Juris Doctor in 1995. While he was in law school, he served as the president of the International Law Society.

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auto-insurance-accident-claims-attorneys-CaliforniaAs a nationally recognized personal injury attorney and car accident lawyer in practice for over 25 years, I’ve successfully resolved literally thousands of auto accident claims.  In that time period, I’ve found that for all the billions of dollars the auto insurance industry spends every year trying to convince people that they can “save money” by switching to this carrier or the other, they misrepresent the real truth behind auto insurance.  I wanted to explore some of these myths in this blog post.

Myth #1: “Only pay for what you need!” “Save HUNDREDS of dollars every year”

This one, I think is a great example of fundamental misrepresentations in auto insurance ads.  Lately the slogan and concept has been used most by Liberty Mutual.  We see the usual antics of a guy with a pet Emu running around telling people that their insurance company is better because they show you how to “only pay for what you need”.  What does this mean?  It implies that there are a lot of insurance coverages that you can do without and shouldn’t pay for.  Nothing could be further from the truth if you actually have to file a claim for property damage or bodily injury.  In addition, almost every insurance company touts their ability to save you “HUNDREDS” of dollars a year.  This is a more subtle misrepresentation. The actual truth is that for only a few hundred dollars more each year, you could have much better coverage.  For example, waiving uninsured motorist coverage, might only save a person $50-75 a year but, could end up costing them tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncovered medical expenses if they are hit by an uninsured driver!

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bicycle-accident-injury-attorneys-lawyers-LosAngelesLos Angeles should be the perfect setting for riding bicycles, but the lack of bicycle infrastructure and heavy traffic makes it dangerous. Fortunately, a long-running festival is set to return to the city this year. CicLAvia is scheduled to return to Los Angeles after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This open street bicycling festival will begin on Aug. 15 in Wilmington followed by events on Oct. 10 in downtown LA and Dec. 5 in South LA. CicLavia is operated by a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting public health and mass transit. During the event, streets along the route will be closed and filled with cyclists, pedestrians, and vendors.

History of CicLAvia

The first CicLAvia festival was held in October 2010. Organizers modeled the event on the regular car-free festivals that are held in Bogota, Colombia each Sunday. More than 100,000 people attended the first CicLAvia festival in 2010, far exceeding the nonprofit’s expectations. The first event featured open streets stretching from East Hollywood to Boyle Heights, drawing many people outdoors to enjoy the open, traffic-free spaces and fresh air.

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Los-Angeles-Pedestrian-Bike-AccidentsIn May 2020, Los Angeles implemented the Slow Streets program during the pandemic.[1] This program was designed to prevent traffic from entering certain residential areas to encourage people to spend more time outdoors safely. It also implemented provisions to substantially reduce the speed of traffic near residential areas. Communities were allowed to apply to the program to have designated areas blocked off from traffic during certain hours of the day other than for people who live in them. The program has proven to be quite popular, leading to legislation that could make it permanent in both Los Angeles and other cities in the state.

Goals of the Slow Streets program

At the time the Slow Streets Los Angeles program was implemented, California and the rest of the nation were going through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced multiple closures and caused more people to work remotely. With more people working from home and large numbers of closures, the Slow Streets program was designed to encourage people to get out and enjoy fresh air and exercise by prompting drivers to drive more slowly while limiting through traffic in designated residential areas. Residents have been able to safely walk and ride bicycles in neighborhoods that participate in this program.

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